The title of this post may be a further example of retrotalk (we slightly adapted the last verse of a 1967 Pink Floyd song, the only one from the first album that was written by Roger Waters instead of Syd Barrett – and possibly the most meaningless of that lot). It’s just that one of us started the day singing it.
Yeah, we’re alive. We haven’t posted anything on this blog for more than 20 days because we’ve been writing and writing and writing, it’s been the final mega-session for the new novel. After about 15 months of the hardest work, two days ago we delivered the text to the publisher.
As we told you some time ago, it’s (more or less) a sequel to Q. We felt the urge to go back to the “crime scene” (our 1999 debut) after the collective lost a member, in the springtime of 2008. After months of crisis and conflict, we needed a new beginning. We needed a peculiar self-managed group therapy (and that’s probably the reason that old tune came to our mind, as it was titled Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk). Gert-from-the-Well appeared and told us: “I can help you, if you bring me back to life!”. And that’s what we did.
It’s been an exciting and fatiguing period. The novel will be titled Altai (here’s a clue as to why). It will be published in Italy in the early days of November. Even those of you who don’t understand Italian might want to listen to this audio recording. You can do it as if it were pure sound, without any meaning. It’s an anticipation of the prologue, read by WM1 at Officina Italia, a literary event that took place two months ago in Milan. Mp3, 16ok, 14 minutes (the first three minutes are the intro/explanation, you’ll realise when the reading begins).
We’ll have a dense autumn: Manituana will be published in France at the beginning of September, then in the UK and the US at the beginning of October, then Altai will come out in Italy.
Ok, that’s all for now. Have a good summer.
Events in Italy have always – for better or worse – had an extraordinary influence on the whole of European society, from the Italian Renaissance to Fascism.
But, all too often, Europe has not become aware of these events in time.
There is currently a great deal of attention in major European newspapers on some aspects of the crisis that has engulfed our country. But we believe that it is our duty – the duty of all those living in Italy – to inform European public opinion on other alarming aspects that have not elicited such interest, such as the draft legislation proposed by the Italian Government, called the “Security Decree”. If it is not prevented, this legislation runs the risk of disfiguring the image of Europe and dealing a severe setback to human rights worldwide.
The Berlusconi Government, using security as a pretext, has imposed on our Parliament – over which it has total control – the adoption of laws discriminating against immigrants, laws the likes of which we had not seen in this country since the passing of the Fascist Race Laws.
Read the whole text here.
[WM1:] I took a look at Slate‘s feed and found a very interesting piece by Sam Kean. 20th century plastic art objects and historical items are rotting off in museums, and curators can do very little about it.
The casualty list is appalling: Antique plastic dolls at the National Museum of Denmark have begun to peel and flake; classic furniture at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London might as well have been left out in the sun for years; the first-ever plastic toothbrush, at the Smithsonian, is collapsing into a pile of crumbs; etc. A whole generation of irreplaceable items that are as representative of our culture as pottery or flintheads were of ancient ones are dying—and many people charged with their care have no idea how to stop further damage.
Back in 2003 I wrote an article entitled Better Than Gingko Biloba. It wasn’t terribly original, but it was a good summary of an issue that’s always in the background of my mind: the extreme perishability of our culture. What are we leaving to posterity? (more…)